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K Spencer Shrader transfers to Notre Dame, returning to his homestate and a familiar venue

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 17 USF at Florida

GAINESVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 17: South Florida Bulls place kicker Spencer Shrader (32) kicks a field goal during the game between the South Florida Bulls and the Florida Gators on September, 17 2022 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field in Gainesville, Fl. (Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

When Notre Dame opens its 2023 home schedule against Tennessee State on Sept. 2, it will not be the first time Spencer Shrader has kicked at Notre Dame Stadium. He booted the opening kickoff 49 yards against the Irish in 2020 when South Florida visited South Bend on short notice during the pandemic.

That was his only kick that day, a 52-0 Notre Dame shutout, so next year’s matchup with the Tigers will assuredly test Shrader more.

The Indiana native visited Notre Dame over the weekend and announced Tuesday night he will transfer to the Irish after four seasons with the Bulls.

Shrader went 9-of-13 on field-goal attempts this season, hitting a long of 49 yards. In his career, he is 28-of-41 with a 52-yard long and is 95-of-96 on point-after attempts.

This is the second straight year Notre Dame has reached into the transfer ranks for a kicker, tapping Blake Grupe from Arkansas State in 2022, rewarded with a 13-of-18 field-goal showing and 43 successful point-after attempts.

In both instances, the Irish already had a kicker on the team. Sophomore Josh Bryan did not play this year — he made an extra point in 2021 — hampered by a groin injury just before the season that cost him kickoff duties at Ohio State, something so late to arise it was not announced before the game. Freshman walk-on Zac Yoakam then impressed enough in the role, Bryan never regained it.

A graduate (and a former professional soccer player before originally walking on at South Florida), Shrader’s quick commitment to Notre Dame does not yield any insight into what changes Irish head coach Marcus Freeman was or was not able to implement with the academic side of the University as it pertains to undergraduate transfers, a notoriously slow process that has made it more difficult for Notre Dame to pull in players in years past.

OUT: QB Drew Pyne, CB Jayden Bellamy, DE Osi Ekownu, TE Cane BerrongIN: K Spencer ShraderNFL-BOUND: TE Michael Mayer, DE Isaiah FoskeyINJURED, OUT FOR THE GATOR BOWL, WILL RETURN IN 2023: CB Cam Hart

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